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WIPP March 2017

 

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Policy Watch
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Pertinent policy news for women in business

WIPP releases its Economic Blueprint for 2017

Today Women Impacting Public Policy released a range of economic policy recommendations lawmakers can follow to help women entrepreneurs thrive, and WIPP member Anne Chambers laid them out during testimony before the House Small Business Committee.

WIPP’s annual Economic Blueprint, featured today in Forbes, lists a comprehensive set of public policy needs covering access to capital, procurement, healthcare, telecommunications and technology, and export and trade—issues that have the most impact on women business owners’ ability to grow their companies.

Women business owners are an economic force. They’re growing at nearly four times the rate of men-owned businesses, they generate $1.6 trillion in receipts and they make up 36 percent of all non-farm businesses in this country. Yet too often their specific policy needs fall by the wayside. Women business owners need Congress to tackle some of the unique challenges they face so they can continue growing and strengthening our economy.

Anne Chambers, co-founder and CEO of Red212, an independent content strategy agency, ensured Congress heard what women entrepreneurs need when testifying before the House Small Business Committee today. She outlined the blueprint during her testimony at the Committee’s hearing, “Making Washington Work for America’s Small Businesses.” Thank you Anne!

Take a look at the Blueprint here.

#HillUpdate: Obama-era Fair Pay rule tossed

Earlier this month, the Senate passed legislation to repeal the contractor-blacklisting rule, implementing the Fair Pay, Safe Workplaces executive order. The rule required contractors and subcontractors to disclose violations of 14 federal labor and employment laws, and their state equivalents, when bidding on a contract. While the rule was designed to crack down on labor-law violations, WIPP expressed concern that it would blacklist women entrepreneurs and shrink the federal market.

The House already passed the repeal of the rule last month, and President Trump is expected to sign it in the coming days.

Healthcare: To pass or not to pass Trumpcare/Ryancare – That’s the question

Last week, after grueling hours spent in markups in the House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees, the House Budget Committee passed a merged version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) by a slim margin of 19 to 17 through the budget reconciliation process. Budget reconciliation is limited by the Byrd Rule – provisions considered cannot have non-incidental budgetary effects – so any items not pertaining to the budget were not taken up by the committee, but are appearing in supplemental efforts. The House is working to pass a handful of additional bills that make insurance changes to the healthcare system.

Thursday, Republican leaders are expected to bring legislation to the House floor for a vote. Any substantive changes to the bill as it came out of the Budget Committee will come from the House Rules Committee, which controls how legislation is presented and debated on the floor. The Rules Committee is scheduled to meet this week to set terms of debate, while also considering a manager’s amendment.

As of last week, Republicans did not have the votes to pass the bill. Over the weekend, House Speaker Paul Ryan discussed one of the potential changes to the bill, which would be to increase tax credits to give additional assistance to consumers “in their 50s and 60s” to buy insurance. The current House bill does away with current age bands. GOP leaders can afford to lose no more than 21 votes, presuming all Democrats vote against the bill.

Fiscal Years 17 & 18 – A Congressional balancing act

House and Senate appropriators are walking a tightrope this week as they try to negotiate deals to wrap up the Fiscal Year 2017 spending while also beginning work on the FY18 spending. President Trump rolled out his budget wish list last week and jumpstarted the FY18 budget discussions in Congress.

The first item Congress must address is funding the federal government for FY17, which expires on April 28. House lawmakers said they are continuing talks with their Senate counterparts to finalize the 11 unfinished appropriations bills that make up the FY17 spending. If Congress is unable to pass an appropriations bill for FY17, the other option is to simply pass another Continuing Resolution for the rest of the FY17 Fiscal year. GOP leaders have not yet disclosed their ambitious plan to move an omnibus bill (which includes all 11 appropriations bills) through the legislative process and onto President Trump’s desk before April 28, while simultaneously beginning the FY18 funding process. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees are beginning hearings for FY18 spending while a vote on raising the debt ceiling looms in the not too distant future.

WIPP has submitted its requests to the House appropriators and will continue to follow the process. We watch so you don’t have to.

Does the tax code discriminate? Take our survey!

WIPP and the Kogod Tax Policy Center at American University are teaming up to research how women business owners use the U.S. tax code and whether the code is discriminatory.

We are surveying women business owners across the country to learn how they use the code. Our survey will complement an in-depth analysis performed by Kogod to determine whether women business owners are operating on a level playing field.

Please consider helping us out by clicking the link below to take the survey. It will take less than 5 minutes and your answers could make a big difference for all women business.

The survey is free, your answers are anonymous and you will not be asked for a donation.

Thank you!

WIPP E-Book: Grow Your Business Online
Having an online presence is a critical component to business success, yet research shows nearly half of U.S. small businesses don’t have a website.

 

WIPP and Verisign partnered to create a free guide that gives women business owners step-by-step instructions on how to grow their business online.

 

Download the guide: How to Grow Your Business Online